My holidays: Lisa Hamilton-Gibbs

The founder of icandy.co.nz and author of children's book Who Said Kiwis Can't Fly? shares her travel memories.

Lisa Hamilton-Gibbs has a tattoo that reminds her of a life-changing trip to South America. Photo / Supplied
Lisa Hamilton-Gibbs has a tattoo that reminds her of a life-changing trip to South America. Photo / Supplied

What was your greatest holiday?

It was a trip to South America when I was in my early 30s. A best friend and I spent four months travelling (mostly by bus) through Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. It was the most liberating, raw and cathartic experience.

And the worst?

A holiday to Fiji with a boyfriend. It rained for most of the trip and he was an ex-boyfriend by the time we arrived home.

If we bump in to you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?

These days we have small children in tow so my travels are not so intrepid. It would most likely be somewhere warm with a beach very close by. If time permits I might be on a golf course.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?

I forgot to put the petrol cap back on when we were travelling through the Mojave Desert. It rolled off the roof of our Honda Civic when we went round the first corner after the petrol station. The only consolation was that when I went back to look for it I found several other petrol caps. Clearly I wasn't the only dummy.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ... my iPhone and Kindle. It might sound cliche but my phone is my connection to the world and the archive of all important notes and photos. You also need some good books when you travel.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?

If there is ever an item you are deliberating about taking — don't. You will never use it. Travel light. You can always pick up gear along the way.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? It was memorable but not in a good way. On a tight budget when travelling through Europe on my OE I ordered meatballs from a dodgy little restaurant. It tasted very reminiscent of the smell of dog food. I was starving and cash-poor so I ate it but hate to think what the meatballs originated from.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? A little tattoo I had done when I was in Brazil. It means "luz" or "light" and every time I look at it, it reminds me of my life-changing trip to South America.

Favourite airport to land at? Queenstown. There is something magical about travelling to Queenstown. I took my first solo flight there to visit my adorable grandmother when I was 5 and I am still filled with that sense of excitement and wonder when I land on that tarmac.

Lisa Hamilton-Gibbs is the founder of icandy.co.nz and author of children's book 'Who Said Kiwis Can't Fly?'

- NZ Herald

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